Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn has spoken out in defence of Arsène Wenger, saying the manager must be frustrated by his players.
The Arsenal boss always believes in his squad but, after the 3-2 defeat to Olympiacos, Winterburn thinks the manager must, privately at least, be frustrated by the players.
“He will be immensely frustrated with his team at the moment without actually telling them,” Winterburn told TalkSport on Wednesday.
It would be out of character for the Arsenal boss to lay into his players either publicly or privately, but Winterburn feels he must have had enough by now.
“When I look at the squad, they’ve got enough quality but they haven’t started as you would expect Arsenal to start.
“It’s a combination of things for me, they haven’t hit top gear in terms of creating chances and their attacking flair has certainly not been consistent as last season. Defensively it looked as if last season they had some organisation but they’ve started to wobble again this season.”
It’s all true. Every time we look good – like at Leicester at the weekend – we stumble again immediately afterwards.
Looking at the squad, the players are good enough; so what’s the problem?
“The balance in the team isn’t quite right for some reason. It’s not functioning to its full capacity.”
It’s down to the manager to work that out but there’s only so much he can do. The team he put out on Tuesday night was more than good enough to beat Olympiacos, so why didn’t it?
At the end of the day, the players are the ones who cross the white line and play. Wenger can’t always be at fault when they fail to perform.